(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Leather-clad riders from motorcycle clubs have arrived in Ferguson, Missouri, in an effort to protect stores against looters and join in peaceful rallies, more than a week after police shot and killed an unarmed teenager, sparking racial tension and unrest.
Some of the bikers are reportedly from the Outcast MC, which touts itself as America’s oldest, all-black motorcycle club. It was founded in Detroit in 1969, but has chapters across the country.
Outcast members joined bikers from another club, Dominant Breed, on a rainy street in the St. Louis suburb over the weekend. While their goal is to show support and keep the peace, one rider told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the clubs have no official plan to protect the city.
“But normally when they see our presence [troublemakers] don’t come around much,” the biker told the newspaper.
The bikers were also spotted at a memorial site for the slain teen, Michael Brown, 18.
Journalists and protesters shared snapshots of the bikers, clad in signature black jackets and skull masks, on social media.
They joined students, families, churches and members of groups including Amnesty International and even the Black Panther Party, who have joined in the rallies. Many are protesting excessive police force and the lack of public information related to Brown’s case.
Brown was killed on Aug. 9 as he and a friend were walking home from a convenience store. Police identified Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, six days later. Circumstances surrounding Brown’s death are still unclear.
Ferguson police did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
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Jackie Wattles, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
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Lisa Respers France and Brian Stelter, CNN